Santa Claus is one of the most popular Christmas symbols besides the Christmas tree. When Christmas arrives, we will easily find Santa Claus figures in various places.
But do you know why the figure of Santa Claus, who is synonymous with giving Christmas gifts can appear?
A brief history of Santa Claus
The figure of Santa Claus actually started in the 3rd century. This story begins with a monk named Saint Nicholas. The man who was born in 280 in Myra, Turkey, is known as a generous person and often provides assistance to the poor.
The name Saint Nicholas became famous after giving a sack of gold to three poor girls so that they would not become prostitutes. Not only that, Santo is also known as a philanthropist because he often travels to the countryside to help the poor and the sick.
At the end of the 18th century, the name of Saint Nicholas was only known by the people of the United States. In December 1773 and 1774, newspapers in New York reported that several groups of Dutch families had gathered to honor the death of Saint Nicholas.
At that time, the name of Saint Nicholas was known as Sinter Klaas, which was an abbreviation of Sint Nikolaas (the name of Saint Nicholas in Dutch).
Then in 1804, a member of the New York Historical Society, John Pintard, distributed pieces of St. Nicholas’ wood at a community meeting. The piece of wood shows a photo of Santa with a straight posture white beard, wearing a red shirt complete with stockings filled with toys and fruit hanging above the fireplace.
Santa Claus is named in different countries
In Indonesia, the figure of a fat man with a white beard is known as Santa Claus. The name is the same as the Dutch Santa Claus because of the Dutch influence in Indonesia. Besides Santa Claus, the Dutch also call him Kerstman.
In contrast to the case in the European region, such as in Belgium, Luxembourg, and some French countries. In Europe and Latin America, Santa Claus is better known as Chtistkindl. However, these figures are often depicted as angels or children.
It’s different in Europe; it’s different in England. In England, Santa Claus is better known as Sir Christmas or Captain Christmas. However, when Sir Christmas is depicted as an old man, his name changes to Old Christmas. In the Victorian era, the name Santa Claus again changed to Father Christmas.
While in Slavic countries such as Russia and Poland, Santa Claus is known as Ded Moroz. There, the figure of Santa Claus is famous as a winter wizard named Father Frost.
In addition to the countries above, the name Santa Claus from various countries is different, you know. Here are a number of Santa Claus names from various countries.
- Santa Claus in Japanese is called Hoteisho
- Santa Claus in Chinese is called Dun Che Lao Ren
- Santa Claus in French is called Pere Noel
- Santa Claus in Spanish is called Papa Noel
- Santa Claus in Italian is called Babbo Natale
- Santa Claus in Norwegian is called Julenissen
- Santa Claus in German is called Weihnachtsmann
- Santa Claus in Swedish is called Jultomten